Saturday, December 14, 2013

Obsession Number Seven - Scotland: A Scottish Christmas

"Heap on more wood - the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We'll keep our Christmas merry still."
 - Sir Walter Scott

Christmas at our house this year will be full of reminders of my Scottish heritage.  I have written about my Cameron ancestors previously, when I was writing for Tablescape Times Three.  If you would like to see some pieces of my Scottish collection and read about my "Fiercer than Fierceness Itself" ancestors who were members of Clan Cameron, you can see the post HERE.

I love everything about Scotland, especially the Tartans.  Maybe, that is why Ralph Lauren has always been my favorite designer.  This Highlander Santa from Horchow is a perfect example.  He is outfitted in a Royal Stewart tartan kilt, with black and silver accents.  The placemats on the table are also the Royal Stewart plaid from Dillard's.

Draped over one of the dining room chairs is a woolen blanket that I purchased in Scotland.  It is the tartan pattern of the Queen's Own Highlanders military regiment  - Cameron of Erracht . This regiment was active in Scotland from 1793 until 1804 and in Great Britain from 1804 until 1961. Here is a picture of an early member of the regiment:

This tartan pattern was chosen by the Camerons and not designed by the government, which I believe was unusual for a military unit.

Another of my obsessions is Mauchline Ware, which was made in South West Scotland in the town of Mauchline, until the last factory burned down in 1933. Besides this transferware, tartanware and fernware were also made in the factories.  I will serve mints from my little boxes, after our Christmas feast. My favorite of the boxes in the larger one in the back, which shows Edinburgh from the castle hill. 

Another Scottish treasure is this Edinburgh Crystal bowl, which was a gift from my husband.  The workmanship on this bowl is truly exquisite and I love it!

The place setting started with silver chargers with black dinner plates and red glass Maxwell and Williams salad plates.  On top is my favorite (another obsession!!) Christmas pattern, "Spode Christmas Tree".  Although, not Scottish, I think that you could find this English pattern on a few Scottish tables at Christmas! I decided to use Towle "Diane" silver, The sea references (shell, waves, etc.) on the flatware remind me of the wild Scottish coastline.

I used mother-of-pearl dinner knives, since so many of these pieces were made in Great Britain. Mine were made by Shreve & Company in America, however.

Other pieces that are strictly American made are the stemware pieces that I used.  I could not resist the platinum rims on the Tiffin "Argenta" iced beverage glasses, nor the beautiful green color of the Fostoria "Spartan" water goblets.

The tartan votive holders and the mercury glass pillar candle holders came from Walmart this year.

I found this cute little Nikko dish at Dillard's.  I think it is meant to coordinate with several Nikko Christmas patterns.  Of course, I loved the plaid decoration on the edge.  I tried to find a real tartan pattern (I own several research books on tartans) that was similar and I do think that this one is a modified (for Christmas) "Dress Stewart".

I am pretty happy with my Scottish Christmas table.  It will be a great starting point to share my heritage with the grandchildren.  From our house to yours, Merry Christmas and I hope Santa is very good to you, whether he is Scottish or not!!!


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  1. Plaid gets me every time. What a beautiful table you set.

  2. Diane, this is gorgeous! I adore the kilted Santa, especially! And how perfect that you have a silver pattern named for you! My mom's maiden name is Erskine, and some day I want a piece of Erskine tartan!

  3. Oh Diane, what a table for sharing your heritage! The tartan plaid just lends itself to Christmas, doesn't it? Your Highlander Santa is the perfect centerpiece. What treasures you've shared with us and you even found tartan votives from Wal Mart! Merry Scottish Christmas! xo

  4. Well, well...I came back again to leave another comment. LOL This table is just too beautiful not to comment on. I love your plaid and the stack of plates is perfect. I also love all of your research and what I can learn from you...This is really a beautiful table, my friend...I did my table around a Pendleton wool plaid blanket this year.. great minds...
    Merry Christmas..
    Love, Mona

  5. I think this is my most favorite yet Diane (for the holidays I mean), I just love all the plaid and that super dashing Santa on kilts! Perfect!!!!!

  6. A very lovely Scottish table! And my husband's Scottish heritage is ONE reason we have Royal Doulton Tartan as our Christmas china (that and also that it was a true bargain!)

  7. A girl aft my own plaid heart!!!

    Loved this and love, love, love that bagpiper Santa! Love the Scottish crystal, the American silver, and the Nikko plates. It all works perfectly. A friend of mine made two plaid runners for me that are similar to yours. Yep, my snowmen are camped on tartan this evening!

    BTW, a close friend's son is named Cameron. Good name. When I picked out some fabric for slipcovers for my chairseats years ago, unbeknownst to me I picked out a family tartan on my husband's maternal side. Small world!



  8. Love the Christmas tree china and it glows with all the Scottish trimings.

  9. You have so many Scottish treasures, love them all. Your tartan table is gorgeous!....Merry Christmas!...Christine

  10. What a gorgeous tartan table, Diane. I just love your Scottish Santa, he really finishes your table.

  11. "Dress Stewart"? As in ROD Stewart? I loved seeing him in concert all dressed up in his kilt and kicking the ol' soccer ball....pardon me...FOOTBALL around on the stage and out into the audience. He's got to be my favorite to YOU, of course! ;-) (I love on his song "Rhythm of My Heart" where bagpipes play! He really enjoys and flaunts his Scottish heritage!) Anyway....I love how you've included so many elements that are a nod to your heritage. It really makes the table special!

  12. Love plaid and the Santa is perfect! What a beautiful table!

  13. Hello, Diane! Thanks so much for commentingon my neighborhood tour post! I'm always so happy to hear from you!

    I just love this table (I've always loved plaids), but especially I loved learning about your heritage, through reading and through your beautiful pieces.

    I wish you and your littles and the rest of your family a truly beautiful Christmas, Diane. ~Zuni

  14. Diane, I love that you're flaunting your plaiditude and your heritage! What a beautiful table and your Highlander Santa is wonderful! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Cameron Christmas!

  15. Dianne, I love the plaid Santa Clause. He is so handsome dressed in his Royal Stewart Tartan kilt. His great white beard is the picture of Santa. Your Scottish plaid table is beautiful. I love everything about it. I especially love that you have used your Scottish ancestry as the them for your Christmas tablescape making it so personally special to you.

  16. Wonderful table and I adore how you incorporated your heritage into it. That says Christmas to me....Hugs!

  17. I'm of Scottish and Irish ancestry, too and LOVE your tartan tablescape, especially the fabulous Santa. How wonderful that you're sharing your heritage with your grandchildren. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas. Visiting from BNOTP.

  18. The tartans are just fabulous and something about them just speaks Christmas to me! What a fabulous Highlander Santa! he really sets the stage and yes, steals the show!

  19. Your things are just stunning Diane and even more so with all the special meanings behind them. Thank you for sharing your beautiful Scottish things and all the details~very warm and welcoming indeed!

  20. I love your table. My husband, before we were married, spent about a year in Scotland. Love, love your Santa. Love the plaid and your flatware. Your Christmas tree plates are so perfect for your table. Joni

  21. Diane,
    This is just stunning! I love all the red and plaid...gorgeous! And that Santa...and dishes...and beautiful crystal bowl...WOW!

  22. Such a gorgeous table and so much history involved. We all hold 'tartan' in our hearts and yours shows up beautifully. A newbie to your blog. Thanks for sharing, Vicki in Louisville KY.

  23. As I studied your Scottish inspired table design, I found myself creating a wish list full of all the marvelous elements on your table. The plaids...always a winner, and the Tiffin and Fostoria pieces made my heart beat faster. Thanks for inviting us for a peek. Cherry Kay

  24. The kilted Santa is the best or as the kids say "da bomb"! With your Scottish heritage you have a real reason to use all the plaids which are so very popular this season.

  25. Oh my goodness, gasp gasp! Your table is absolutely fantastic! I love tartan as well; especially for Christmas and RL has always been my favorite American designer! Fabulous, fabulous job!

  26. Lovely! That Santa is wonderful, and love those plaid placemats.

  27. I am in love with this tablescape. Anything and all things tartan and I am a goner!! My last name, Craig, is very Scottish yet all my ancestor came from North Ireland. I am sure there are a few relatives from the Craigie shores of Scotland, I just need to track them down. Great job on the tablescape!

    Hoping you a very Merry Christmas my friend. Hugs, Diane

  28. Fab plaid! In LOVE! Plaid tidings to you and yours,
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  29. Diane, your Scottish table is fabulous. You know I, too, adore tartans. Love seeing all of yours. That Santa is wonderful too.
    Happy Holidays! ~ Sarah

  30. Truly a Scottish table.Tartan gives a festive and traditional your green goblet and your Santa is so cute.Your cut glass-wears add charm to the table.You have created a beautiful table....My last post was RL table for copy a table for Kathleen..Merry Christmas to you and to your family...Love and hugs...Sujatha..:):)

  31. This table is soooo lovely, Diane! I love how you've incorporated your family's heritage with all your pretty items. The black makes a striking accent to the pretty plaids & your Scottish Santa is the perfect centerpiece.
    The stemware is exquisite as is that GORGEOUS crystal bowl.

    We've golfed at St. Andrews & toured the countryside. One of our favorite vacations ever!!
    You've inspired me to get some plaid next year for my Spode dishes! I really like the combination.

    Have a Blessed Christmas & thank you for your friendship this year.

  32. Hi lovely lady.
    I love that you're flaunting your plaid and your heritage! What a beautiful table and your Highlander Santa is wonderful ! you did a great job putting this all together for the Holidays. Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my new post. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

  33. I love tartan and I'm so envious now, as I can't find anything here, so I will when I visit the States. I adore your Scottish table, it is simply amazing! Beautiful dishes, table topper and centerpiece Scottish fellow. I loved your visiting me! Wishing you a very blessed Scottish C'mas with your family!

  34. Diane, this is a lovely way to share your heritage! The table is beautiful, plaid, tartan or not, I love it all!
    Nollaig shona duit from your Irish friend!

  35. Hi lovely Diane.!!!!
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful Scottish things and all the details very warm and welcoming indeed!
    I am in love with this tablescape.I love the plaid Santa Clause. He is so handsome dressed in his Royal Stewart Tartan kilt. I adore how you incorporated your heritage into it.
    I am going to buy Royal Stewart Tartan Kilt for my party and found
    They are offering made to measure/custom made kilts..
    Have anyone of you bought anything from these people??.
    Are they legitimate .?
    Their prices are very reasonable, Can anyone guide me???.
    Should I buy from Scottish Kilt Shop ????

    1. Zari, thank you for you kind comment. I have not ordered anything from this particular website, so I really cannot give an opinion on it. I hope that you are able to find the perfect kilt for your party, though. I am sure it is going to be fun!!

    2. Oh Dear Diane !!!
      Pleasure is all mine.
      I bought the kilt. and i am so excited to wear it on my party.